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National League clubs like Ebbsfleet United are still waiting to hear how placings will be finalised

Ebbsfleet United say they are no closer to finding out their fate in the National League.

As yet they have had no communication from the National League since their board meeting on Tuesday. Fleet are currently sitting a place above the drop zone but a points per game finish would see them drop into it by a fraction.

Ebbsfleet United chief exec Damian Irvine Picture: ebbsfleetunited.co.uk(34389321)
Ebbsfleet United chief exec Damian Irvine Picture: ebbsfleetunited.co.uk(34389321)

At the start of the season, the bottom four were due to go down. But National League clubs were told midway through the campaign that Bury's demise in League 1 meant only three teams were going to be relegated in the National League come the end of April.

Ebbsfleet United chief executive Damian Irvine has said the club are against deciding the league - and those bottom three places - on points per game.

He said: “We would be against a points per game system that broke down something as serious, and that impacts us financially as strongly as potential relegation, into a situation which is broken down into a third decimal, just 0.002.

“That is not football, that is not a sporting outcome. If we are talking about sporting outcomes, minute mathematics is not a sporting outcome.”

The National League table would look differently on a points per game average (34414227)
The National League table would look differently on a points per game average (34414227)

It’s one of the issues up for discussion but nothing has been confirmed either way.

Mr Irvine said: “We have worked at length with getting our points across to the National League directly and they have been heard, along with the views of a number of other clubs yesterday (Tuesday).

“They have heard what every club thinks and wants and have proposed and we are waiting like everyone else for outcomes. There has been absolutely no indication from the meeting what they might be or any timelines.

“We are no better off today (Wednesday) than we were last week in terms of knowledge.”

Action between Ebbsfleet United and Chorley last season Picture: Sean Aidan
Action between Ebbsfleet United and Chorley last season Picture: Sean Aidan

An earlier league board meeting on Friday took place to discuss possible play-off matches taking place. For Fleet, that’s not something they could support.

Mr Irvine said: “Our view on that, and it looks like it was a majority view of clubs, is that it is not feasible or practical and in the best interests of the community at the moment for us to proceed.

“We feel they should have been cancelled on that basis.

“Contracts are ending, there would be added costs for clubs to retain players, for a date that we don’t know, but the main reason over riding that is community health. Limited testing is available and trying to play games at a date unknown for some play-offs doesn't seem like it is really best practice."

On the issue of promotion and relegation, Mr Irvine also outlined the club’s view.

He said: “We are in support of promotion and rewarding clubs where possible if there are spaces in leagues without relegation.

“To relegate during a time of severe financial crisis and strain is a lot more impactful than denying a positive, in terms of denying a promotion.

“The best scenario for our club was to play the remaining games of the league because we were one of the form sides. We definitely felt we could have got out of it but that was taken away and rightly so, the competition had to end.

“Whatever we suggest, to finalise a sporting outcome, shouldn’t be seen as self interest, because self interest would have been to play the league games and back ourselves on the pitch, but that is just not possible."

Fleet have named seven players who won’t be getting contracts next season and meanwhile their captain Jack King has announced his retirement.

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